On 13-14 June 2003, within the framework of the European Year of People with Disabilities, the European Commission and the Greek presidency of the European Union, in close co-operation with the Greek National Confederation of Disabled People and the European Disability Forum, held the European Congress on Media and Disability, bringing together the major European media, advertisers and other stakeholders working in the field.
The aim of the Congress was to pave the way for a wide reflection on the visibility of disabled people in European media and their adequate portrayal, as a reflection of the social diversity across Europe, and a model of society based on the principle of non-discrimination.
Through the exchange of best practices and experiences, the Congress explored new strategies and provided the necessary tools to promote positive images of disability. The audience was composed of representatives from EU-national and European media networks and editorial groups (representing all different sectors in media); policy-makers; disability organisations; journalists; academics and communication experts, all of them issued from either national or European levels.
The European Congress on Media and Disability, a 2-day event, was structured in plenary sessions on different issues, which facilitated the debate and the exchange of views between all participants. During the whole congress different examples of good and bad examples were shown (TV and radio spots, disability portrayal in news and fiction).
The main outcome of the Congress was the adoption of the European Declaration on Media and Disability (see Media Declaration), a document providing general guidelines for further action and reflection on how to improve the image of disability in media and advertising, as well as an active participation of disabled professionals in this sector.
A final report of the Congress is due to be published on the current
website in October 2003, in order to ensure a proper follow up of this